On March 16, 2023, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine published a report on war crimes in Ukraine. On the same day, Russian propaganda media (ren.tv, ura.news) reported that the UN commission recognized the shooting of Russian prisoners as a war crime.
On March 20, a video was disseminated on Facebook, claiming that the UN commission did not find any evidence of the genocide by Russia, although the commission failed to hide the war crimes committed by Ukrainians.
The information disseminated on Russian media is manipulative and mentions only the crimes allegedly committed by the Ukrainian military forces. The report of the UN Independent Commission did include a small number of violations committed by Ukrainian forces and two incidents that qualify as war crimes, although according to the same report, a “wide range” of cases of war crimes committed by Russia that could be considered crimes against humanity were identified. As for genocide, the commission noted that this issue requires additional investigation.
The UNHRC Independent International Commission of Inquiry presented its report on war crimes on March 16. The report includes the collection of alleged crimes in 9 regions of Ukraine between February 24, 2022 and mid-January 2023. The members of the commission said that they visited 56 settlements in the process of gathering evidence. Several hundred interviews were conducted both in person and remotely. 348 women and 247 men were interviewed. They visited the places of destruction, graves, places of detention and torture, as well as remnants of weapons; They got acquainted with documentary materials, photos, satellite images and videos.
War Crimes Committed by the Russian Side
According to the report, Russian military forces have committed a “wide range” of violations of international law since February 2022, many of which are considered war crimes. According to the commission, the report included cases of killing, torture and rape of civilians; illegal transportation and deportation of children; attacks with explosive weapons in populated areas with a clear disregard for the injury and suffering of civilians; Attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
“The Commission has found that the Russian armed forces’ waves of attacks, starting 10 October 2022, on Ukraine’s energy-related infrastructure and the use of torture by Russian authorities may amount to crimes against humanity. It recommends further investigations,” the report states.
According to the commission, at this stage there is no direct evidence that these crimes were motivated by genocidal intent. However, it should be noted that according to Erik Møse, this issue requires additional investigation. (buy modafinil baikal pharmacy)
Erik Møse: “We have not found that there has been a genocide within Ukraine. This said, we are, of course, following all kinds of evidence within this area, and we have noted that there are some aspects which may raise questions with respect to that crime (genocide). For instance, certain utterances in Russian media which are targeting groups.”
War Crimes Committed by the Ukrainian Side
In addition to crimes committed by Russian military forces, the commission also noted a small number of violations committed by Ukrainian military forces, including alleged indiscriminate attacks and two incidents that qualified as war crimes in which Russian prisoners of war were shot, wounded and tortured. It should be noted that the video spread on the social network ignored the crimes committed by the Russian side and focused only on the Ukrainian side.
The Commission of Inquiry was established by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council in March 2022 to identify alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Ukraine. All three members of the commission are independent human rights experts and receive support and funding from the UN Human Rights Office and the Council.
It should be noted that the detection of genocide is a long process. For example, although the mass killings of the Tutsi ethnic group took place in Rwanda in 1994, the first verdict for genocide was announced in 1998.
Seven months after the genocide began, the UN established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). On September 2, 1998, the ICTR announced its first verdict. According to the verdict, Jean-Paul Akayesu was found guilty of inciting and directing violence against Tutsi civilians in the city where he served as mayor. Also, the publisher of the newspaper and the owner of the radio station were convicted of the crime of inciting genocide. It was the first time since the Nuremberg Trials that an international court considered the media’s responsibility for mass atrocities.
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